Some thoughts on ‘Swat flogging video’

Girl being flogged: Still from the cell phone video circulated on the Internet and broadcast (repeatedly) on the private channels

Girl being flogged: Still from the cell phone video circulated on the Internet and broadcast (repeatedly) on the private channels

The ‘Swat flogging video’ has made headlines all over. Zubeida Mustafa in her excellent article in Dawn today, ‘A catalyst for change? analyses the reasons why

This para jumped out at me: “The Swat flogging video has brought people face to face with the reality of the emergence of extremism in the name of Islam. It has brought to the surface the paradoxes that had until now been swept under the carpet for expediency’s sake. The video has forced difficult choices on the people compelling them to at least think about issues that affect them very personally.”

Zia’s children, by Ayesha Siddiqa in The News, April 05, 2009 highlights the issue of ‘Islamic law’ or ‘Sharia’. She references the recent book by Tahir Wasti ‘Application of Islamic Criminal Law in Pakistan: Sharia in Practice’. Wasti, as she points out, has experience of both Islamic law and British common law. “This is the first detailed research enlisting the ramifications of the application of sharia law in Pakistan. tracing the historical roots of this phenomenon”.

For those who haven’t followed the issue or seen the video (warning, it’s graphic) check out Declan Walsh’s initial report on the issue in The Guardian, April 2, 2009 (two days before TV channels in Pakistan picked it up):

http://tinyurl.com/ck9wf9

Re: my own take – I’ve been swamped with the final editing of another documentary I’m making, but wrote something on the issue the other day that I will share after publication.

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